As you may notice while turning the pages of this issue, for the first time in more than a decade, Process Heating is publishing a full slate of technical articles instead of our annual Products Guide. While innovative thermal products will always garner attention, careful analysis of our website traffic underscores how popular our long-form technical articles are. And, for those that have always enjoyed the Product Guide, there’s little reason to despair: we include new products in every issue of Process Heating except our annual buyers guide.

Our July editorial lineup evolved out of a careful study of data we gleaned from our readers’ feedback. Likewise, researchers at four universities used research data to identify the need for a better way to create metallic alloy nanoparticles.

The result is a new ultra-high temperature heating method that uses shock waves to combine up to eight different metals into uniformly mixed nanoparticles. The technology shows promise as a means to accelerate important reactions in the chemical and energy industries, say the developers.

As reported in the journal Science, a research team at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore found a way to use shock waves to heat metals to extremely high temperatures—2,000 K and higher — at rapid rates. The technique delivered both heating and cooling in milliseconds. The technique was tested on multiple metals, including those it says are not typically capable of mixing. The net result were stable nanoparticles that could offer solutions for industrial processes. One possible use were as catalysts, as the research team noted that metallic alloy nanoparticles are used in industrial processes during the manufacture of products such as plastics and fertilizers. Previous techniques used to create such nanoparticles for use as catalysts had limitations resulting from combining the metals to form homogenous metals.

According to Chao Wang, an assistant professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at Johns Hopkins, and a member of the research team, the metals are melted together to form small droplets of liquid solutions at the high temperatures. Then, the droplets are rapidly cooled to form homogeneous nanoparticles. The researchers dubbed them new high-entropy-alloy nanoparticles. The research team, which also includes scientists from the University of Maryland in College Park, Md., the University of Illinois in Chicago, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Mass., will continue to explore uses for the nanoparticles.

Finally, I want to offer one last encouragement to tune in to the excellent webinars being produced by Process Heating and Process Cooling. Most recently, Tom McGowan, president of TMTS Associates Inc., presented “Design, Operation and Troubleshooting Ovens and Furnaces.” The one-hour webinar offered actionable advice about industrial ovens and furnaces and their design, operation and troubleshooting. If you’ve already registered, you can simply log in to view the live event at bit.ly/OvensWebinar2018. If you missed registering before the live event, registration is still open.

Likewise, our sister publication, Process Cooling, is hosting “How to Develop a First-Rate Cooling Water Treatment Program,” which is available on demand. Presented by industrial water treatment expert Paul Puckorius, the webinar explains how to start up an industrial cooling system as well as how to monitor for bacterial levels for biological control and Legionella. Check out this webinar by visiting http://bit.ly/WaterTreatment2018.

Look for more webinars from us in the fall. And of course, if you have an idea, I’d love to speak with you about it.